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Metric System

The Metric System

Today, many products are labeled and sold in metric measurements.  The metric system is based on tens and is already used in most of the world.  Film, soft drinks, wines and alcoholic beverages, tools, and bicycles are now sold in metric measurements.

The metric system may seem confusing at first, but it is very easy to use.  Clip out this page and keep it handy.  Use it to become familiar with metric measurements and terms.

Metric measurements are noted in liters, grams, and meters or variations of these units, such as milliliters, kilograms and centimeters.

METER = measurement of length and area (square meter). In the future you'll see this in fabric or carpet stores and for measuring distance.  A meter is a little longer than a yard.

LITER = measurement of volume.  You already see this on beverages; in the future you'll see this on gasoline pumps.  A liter is a little larger than a quart.

GRAM = measurement of mass (weight).  You already see this on many food packages. In the future you'll see this at the deli counter and meat counter.  A gram is a little more than the weight of a paper clip.

Metric Conversion Chart

When you know Multiply By To Find Symbol
inches 2.5 centimeters cm
feet 30.5 centimeters cm
yards 0.9 meters m
miles 1.6 kilometers km
square inches 6.5 sq. centimeters cm2
square feet 0.09 sq. meters m2
square yards 0.8 sq. meters m2
square miles 2.6 sq. kilometers km2
acres 0.04 hectares ha
MASS (weight)
ounces 28 grams g
pounds 0.45 kilograms kg
short tons (2000 lb) 0.9 metric tons t
teaspoons 5 milliliters mL
tablespoons 15 milliliters mL
cubic inches 16.4 milliliters mL
fluid ounces 30 milliliters mL
cups 0.24 liters L
pints 0.47 liters L
quarts 0.95 liters L
gallons 3.8 liters L

Note: All conversion factors in this table are approximate because they have been rounded off to simplify calculations. A cubic centimeter (cc) is the same as a milliliter.

This information was brought to you by: The National Conference on Weights and Measures

Conversion Programs:

Megaconverter 2

Imperial Weights and Measures

Foot rule